Security infrastructure vendor SonicWall announced the further development of its Clean VPN technology with the release of Secure Sockets Layer VPN remote access integrated into the company's Unified Threat Management platform.
SonicWall claims SSL-based Clean VPN integration delivers simplified and encrypted connectivity to remote network users while revolutionizing protection by inspecting these same connections for intrusions, malware and misuse.
SSL-based Clean VPN is available through the SonicOS 5.2 firmware release for the TZ 210 and NSA firewalls and includes features such as browser-based SonicWall NetExtender connectivity; support for Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems; a customizable log-in portal; and split tunnel and tunnel all modes.
"SonicWall's integrated SSL-based Clean VPN technology offers our customers a breakthrough in simplicity and protection for secure remote access," said the company's director of product management, Jon Kuhn. "Organizations want traveling employees and contractors to have fast and immediate network access but may not know these connections have the highest risk of spreading network threats. SonicWall's SSL VPN feature set allows organizations simplified and efficient network access without increasing their security risk."
The technology uses a deep packet inspection engine that can find malicious content that may have been contracted while on the road, through network misuse or through the use of unsecured networks. The company said it believes that in today's business environment, SMBs (small to medium-size businesses) need increasingly distributed workforces, which drives the need to provide secure network access to not only employees, but also contractors, customers and partners.
The new challenge for network administrators is supporting simplified anytime, anywhere access from endpoints that may not be completely secure. SonicWall claims Clean VPN technology simplifies remote access by connecting users with a browser-based SSL VPN connection without requiring a preinstalled client.
"The inclusion of SSL VPN capabilities with NSA appliances is a huge benefit for managed services providers and customers alike," said security solutions firm Secure Designs' CTO Ron Culler. "This feature gives us much more flexibility in remote management situations whether we're in the office or on the road."
Culler said it allows the company to bypass many of the issues that can arise with traditional IPSec VPN clients, and allows them to work seamlessly with a variety of client operating systems. "It's an elegant and pragmatic solution for us and our customers, enabling them the same flexibility to access their network resources," he said.
SonicWall also announced updates for the company's SMB SSL VPN solution that include mobile, Mac and IPv6 support. The release of SonicWall SSL VPN 3.5 features enhanced remote support and a "sleeker" interface design, along with Standalone Virtual Assist, which enables an enhanced remote support experience for the technician.
Version 3.5 also includes application offloading, allowing the user to securely access Web applications without a client while still leveraging the strong authentication and granular access policy features of the SSL VPN appliance, which SonicWall said could lead to potentially lower support costs for an organization.
"More and more of our employees are working from home or on the move, meaning we have to find ways to have access to the tools they need to work while keeping our company network safe," said Remco Group IT Manager Mike Thompson. "SonicWall's SSL VPN is perfect for our needs, eliminating any lengthy setup time and providing a level of flexibility to us and our employees that we have not experienced before."